By Erin Reidman – CC’s Staff
Foot Pain-Is It Plantar Fasciitis?
It’s finally that time of the year again! The sun is showing off a little more and the windows are opening themselves. The warmer weather also sparks some energy into our tired, hibernated bodies. This is great news, but it can also stir up some aches and pains that have been dormant with our inactivity over the harsh winter months. Is foot pain creeping in as you start your half marathon training, increase your outdoor walking distances, or bust out the flip flops? What can you do about that to make sure it doesn’t develop into a nasty case of plantar fasciitis? You have probably heard of plantar fasciitis and possibly blamed it for all your previous foot pain. What is plantar fasciitis anyway? Does it go away on its own? Do I really need custom orthotics, a walking boot, or a night splint to treat this? Are there any other treatment options? Let’s chat about this for a minute:
What is it?
• Inflammation of the plantar fascia, an arch supporting structure of the foot
What does it feel like?
• Heel pain that is often the worst in the morning or after prolonged sitting
• Painful to walk on heel
• More painful to walk barefoot
What causes it?
• Loss of ankle range of motion and strength
• Altered walking pattern from ankle, knee, or hip pathologies
• Improper foot alignment (“flat feet”)
• Improper footwear
• Diabetes Mellitus and/or other metabolic conditions
• Increased BMI
What else could it be?
• Your foot has 28 bones, 30 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments!
• Heel pain can be a result of many issues within the body
• Referral pain from a muscle within the leg or foot
• Radicular pain from a lumbar spine pathology or nerve entrapment within the leg
• Soft tissue dysfunction due to tendons or other structures near the area
• Skeletal dysfunction
I have foot pain, what now?
• Foot pain is one of the most common diagnosis successfully treated by Physical Therapists
• Doctors of physical therapy are experts in musculoskeletal and neuromuscular disorders and are trained in performing skilled evaluations to determine the cause of your symptoms
• Following your initial assessment, your DPT will likely use hands on techniques to improve soft tissue and joint mobility followed by individualized corrective exercises to alleviate pain and help you return to pain free mobility!
It’s tempting to ignore foot pain or pad it with over the counter orthotics, but pain is not the first sign of dysfunction. Addressing the issue at the onset of symptoms greatly increases your chance for a quick recovery. Also, if you add up all the money and time spent googling and amazon-ing different “plantar fasciitis must have tools,” you’ll realize that it is more efficient to invest your resources into a thorough evaluation and diagnosis. Don’t let aches or pains slow you down this summer, we’ve waited far too long for it!
Contact CC’s Physical Therapy to schedule an evaluation today!
Post Author: Erin Reidman, PT
I was born and raised in Bismarck and love this community! I have a strong passion for fitness and encouraging others to pursue their wellness goals which led me to become a group fitness instructor at the Missouri Valley YMCA in 2008. Through my years as an instructor, I was exposed to various injuries and movement dysfunctions within the athletic population which gave me insight into and appreciation of the field of Physical Therapy. I graduated with my Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Mary in 2014. I spent the following years working in a SNF and outpatient setting where I worked with a variety of conditions and specialized in neurodegenerative disorders. I thoroughly enjoyed working in this environment, however my passion had always been working with the outpatient population. This passion prompted me to seek out an environment that appreciates the body’s ability to heal with the right tools and education. This led me to CC’s Physical Therapy! Guiding my patients towards their goals is the ultimate motivation for me! I value a thorough assessment and emphasize hands-on techniques such as manual therapy, functional dry needling, and individualized corrective exercises to steer patients in the right direction. Whether it be a pain free walk with your spouse, creating and maintaining a progressive workout routine at the local gym, or getting back to your marathon training schedule, I look forward to the opportunity to help you reach your goals!